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Minor Repairs Become Major Surgery at Pre-War UWS Tower?

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We love a good strip show as much as the next blog, but the same can't be said about the residents of the Upper West Side. A concerned neighbor alerts us to the work going on at 230 Riverside Drive, a pre-war building converted to condos in 2006. There's a building permit on file (one of about 10 kazillion) for exterior facade repair, but our tipster says there is much more going on: "The Alexico Group is removing the graceful arches capping about 30 feet of the Southern facade of 230 Riverside Drive, a condo conversion of which they are the sponsor. The Alexico Group refers inquiries to the building managing Agent at RA Cohen. The building's managing agent doesn't return phone calls." Here comes trouble? We can safely say: Maybe.

The building is calendared for landmark consideration as part of the big Riverside-West End Historic District, which means the Landmarks Preservation Commission has to get a look at any significant plans ahead of time. That hasn't happened here, but the facade repair permit dates all the way back to the pre-calendared days of 2006. Does it cover the removal of the arches? The LPC tells us their violations department got a complaint from UWS preservation group Landmark West! about 230 Riverside, and the commission is working with the DOB to find out if the stripping is covered under the permit, and if the permit is valid. Our tipster also included an old photo that shows a glimpse of the arches in their former glory, as well as his sweet sweet river view. Stay tuned.

· 230 Riverside Drive [StreetEasy]